Cardiff manager Malky Mackay 'proud' of captain Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson
Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson was signed by Iain Dowie for Crystal Palace

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay has said he is "proud" to have Mark Hudson as his first-team captain.

Former Crystal Palace defender Hudson returns to Selhurst Park for Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final first leg.

And having previously skippered Palace, Cardiff boss Mackay says Hudson is suited to the role of captain.

"He's someone who has the respect of everyone in the dressing room," said Mackay.

Hudson joined Palace initially on loan from Fulham before securing a permanent move to Selhurst Park in 2004.

The 29-year-old spent four years with Palace before joining Charlton on a free transfer in 2008 and spent a season at the Valley before moving to Cardiff.

He was handed the captaincy by then Cardiff boss Dave Jones at the start of the 2009-2010 campaign but lost the role a year later when Craig Bellamy joined the club on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

Following Jones and Bellamy's departures at the end of last season, new manager Mackay re-appointed Hudson as captain at the start of the current campaign.

"I look at the way he looks after himself. He's a model pro and sometimes that doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves," said Mackay.

"When people look after themselves properly, eat correctly, train properly and their body looks the way it should look to be a professional athlete, then you see sacrifice there.

"On and off the football [pitch] for Cardiff City he's exemplary and he's someone that certainly within the club we're proud of to have as our captain and someone our fans are as well."

Fellow Championship side Palace are Cardiff's opponents over two legs in the Carling Cup semi-final with Liverpool or Manchester City awaiting the winners in the final at Wembley on 26 February.

Mackay says Cardiff's victory over Palace earlier in the season will have no bearing when the sides meet at Selhurst Park.

Goals from Kenny Miller and Peter Whittingham secured a 2-0 win at the Cardiff City Stadium in November, but Mackay says the result is irrelevant.

"I don't think either of us will be looking at that now. It was a good game, the game down here earlier in the season," said Mackay.

"I think we both know each other pretty well in terms of our squads and teams. I think it's going to be a tight affair.

"Both sets of fans would fancy their chances more than they would against Man City or Liverpool.

"Maybe that's the ideas of the fans. We've got total respect for Crystal Palace and Dougie and his team and know this is going to be a tough, tough game for us.

"We would both, I'm pretty sure, respect each other and know how difficult a game this is going to be.

"At the same time we're both probably delighted that we missed out on Liverpool and Man City.

"Along with the two or three youngsters they've [Palace] got some experienced guys as well.

"David Wright in midfield is an experienced player, [Kagisho] Dikgacoi as well [and] up-front Glenn Murray [is] another experienced player.

"I think there's a good blend and that's why they're doing well this season."